Mouse on Mars

Dimensional People

Thrill Jockey

Apr 13, 2018 Issue #63 - Courtney Barnett Bookmark and Share


Find It At: AMAZON

The Berlin-based electronic duo is back with their most inventive album yet. Richly textured, Dimensional People marks a slight departure for Mouse on Mars, who are well known for their seminal dancefloor records (1999's Nium Niggung and 2001's Idiology). This album features an extensive list of collaborators (The National's Aaron and Bryce Dessner, Bon Iver's Justin Vernon) and seamlessly glides between rigid structure and mercurial dynamics. Each collaborator was given complete creative control over their input, giving the finished product a multi-part orchestral aura. This organic creativity, paired with the group's incorporation of a robotic percussion section, allows the album to bloom in a natural way.

Dimensional People opens with the three-part title track, which synthesizes Can-like drum rhythms, jazz scales, and reverbed vocals, to create a cinematic backdrop that lasts for all of about 13 minutes. The rest of the tracklist takes after this opening suite, with each song equipped with an idiosyncratic personality tailored by the album's collaborators and creative energy of the German helmsmen.

With influences that dip into many musical pools, Dimensional People plays like an album in a state of flux. There's the hip-hop infused soundscape of "Foul Mouth," which fits perfectly just before the gospel-backed "Aviation," which then fades into the disturbing soundscape of "Parliament of Aliens I." The song "Daylight" is an Afrobeat-inspired fever dream that blends, like day into night, into the uplifting interlude of "Tear to My Eye." Perhaps the most musically experimental track is "Résumé," which features manipulated audio samples and industrial noise.

Dimensional People is a refreshing release for a group who have proven that their musical prowess is as boundless as the soundscapes they create-and they look poised to push these limits of post-digital music even further. (www.mouseonmars.com)

Author rating: 7.5/10

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Average reader rating: 8/10



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